The Spanish Breeds
Many wild horse bands trace their beginnings to the Spaniards who, beginning in the sixteenth century, brought their steeds to the new continent. According to the Pryor Mountains Mustangs support group, a number of ancient breeds contributed to the Pryor Mountains herd.
Barbary or Barb
These horses of African origin are prized for endurance and sprinting ability. They were first bred in northwestern Africa (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) and were imported and bred in Europe for racing and hunting. They are about 15 hands tall.
The Arabian, first bred by the nomadic Bedouins, is a desert horse. They are sought after for keen senses, intelligence and stamina. They also are prized for their great beauty. The Arabians stand about 14 to 15 hands and come in all colors.
This Portuguese horse is known for the ability to thrive in a poor environment. The hardy horses stand between 12 and 13 hands with a dorsal stripe and leg stripes They are either dun or grullo in color with heavy black manes and tails.
The Tarpan, an ancestor of the Polish Konik, is extinct. The breed, which died out in the late 1800s, was found in the steppes of the Ukraine and Eastern Europe. It featured grullo coloring, a dorsal stripe and black mane and tail.
The original Andalusions were bred by monasteries in Spain. These sturdy horses are generally chestnut or black.